|Original Publish Date: November 10, 2020|
Last updated: December 4, 2020
The dreaded voice crack: it’s not just you. If you are blessed with a reasonably healthy larynx right now, that means your voice works the same way as everyone else’s. Every single human voice has different “gears” – like a bicycle. When we “shift” vocal gears, it can be smooth or clunky, just like on a bike. Cracking occurs when we shift our vocal gears unexpectedly, with too much pressure, or when we try to force a gear that doesn’t suit the musical terrain. Anatomy and the laws of physics create these gears and they are called vocal registers.
You may think some singers don’t have vocal registers, because they sing from low to high with no perceivable change or any cracking – ever! Well, those singers have the same vocal registers as you, as a matter of fact. Their vocal range may sit a few notes higher or lower than yours but their basic anatomy is the same. Shifting gears on a bike with the right speed, cadence and pressure on your pedals can be as smooth as butter with no clunkiness. You see, smooth shifting is up to the rider, not the bike. The laws of physics and your anatomy allow you to go between your vocal gears smoothly too. You just have to learn to be like that rider.
How do singers sing through the register change so smoothly? Some simply avoid it by singing songs with a small range, but this is limiting. If you want to be able to use all of your available vocal range, you must develop your vocal dexterity to shift registers smoothly. You can also learn to mix which is yet another skill for masterful shifting. A great way to get started is to sing more in the vocal gear that feels weak (in your practice times). Aim to become more comfy in that gear. Believe it or not, you can develop a strong sound in all areas of your range!
For more on singing smoothly across your entire vocal range, take Mark Baxter’s Lesson Called Produce a Clear Singing Tone
Meet Our New Instructor
Here at Singdaptive, we are excited to be bringing on a new instructor! Jermaine Jones is not only a great vocalist with incredible experiences under his belt, but he also has a talent for helping singers learn performance skills and prepare more successfully to be their best on stage. Stay tuned for Jermaine’s new lessons in December!
Learn From The Stars
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.